By Michael Boriero
Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault is standing by Official Languages Minister Mélanie Joly’s proposed update to the country’s Official Languages Act, as she attempts to modernize the act and recognize French as the official language of Quebec.
According to Guilbeault, who was in Bromont with Federal Liberal Party candidate Pascale St-Onge meeting with local environmental associations, the act is in desperate need of attention given how much Canada’s demographic has changed since it was created.
“The purpose of the modernization of the Official Languages Act is specifically so we can better protect our language minorities throughout Canada, including Anglophones in Quebec,” Guilbeault told The Record. The act was last amended in 1988.
Although the proposed reforms have been put on hold due to the upcoming federal elections, the Quebec government has continued a push to strengthen the French language in the province with Bill 96, which will revise the Charter of the French Language.
The provincial government invoked the notwithstanding clause to protect the bill from being struck down, which has led to English communities and organizations in Quebec to speak out about losing access to health services in their mother tongue, among other things.
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